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CHAPTER 118. Weeping At The Ancestral Temple, A Filial Prince Dies; Marching To The Western Land Of Rivers, Two Leaders Competes.

| Articles of Ancient China, English Version - Romance of the Three Kingdoms Novel | March 7, 2011

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The news of the fall of Mianzhu and the deaths in
battle of Zhuge Zhan and Zhuge Shang, father and
son, brought home to the Latter Ruler that danger
was very near, and he summoned a council.
Then the officials said, “Panic has seized upon
the people, and they are leaving the city in crowds.
Their cries shake the very sky.”
Sorely he felt his helplessness. Soon they
reported the enemy were actually near the city, and
many courtiers advised flight.
“We do not have enough troops to protect the
capital. Leave the city and flee south to the Southern
Land,” said they. “The country is difficult and easily
defended. We can get the Mangs to come and help
us.”
But High Minister Qiao Zhou opposed, saying,
“No, no; that will not do. The Mangs are old rebels,
ungentle; to go to them would be a calamity.”
Three Kingdoms Romance
Then some proposed seeking refuge in Wu: “The
people of Wu are our sworn allies, and this is a
moment of extreme danger; let us go thither.”
But Qiao Zhou also opposed this, saying, “In the
whole course of past ages no Emperor has ever
gone to another state. So far as I can see, Wei will
presently absorb Wu, and certainly Wu will never
overcome Wei. Imagine the disgrace of becoming a
minister of Wu and then having to style yourself
minister of Wei. It would double the mortification. Do
neither. Surrender to Wei, and Wei will give Your
Majesty a strip of land where the ancestral temple
can be preserved, and the people will be saved from
suffering. I desire Your Majesty to reflect well upon
this.”
The distracted Latter Ruler retired from the
council without having come to any decision. Next
day confusion had become still worse. Qiao Zhou
saw that matters were very urgent and presented a
written memorial. The Latter Ruler accepted it and
decided to yield.
But from behind a screen stepped out one of the
Emperor’s sons, Liu Chan, Prince of Beidi, who
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shouted at Qiao Zhou, “You corrupt pedant, unfit to
live among people! How dare you offer such mad
advice in a matter concerning the existence of a
dynasty? Has any emperor ever yielded to the
enemy? “
The Latter Ruler had seven sons in all, but the
ablest, and the only one above the common level of
people, was this Liu Chan.
The Latter Ruler turned feebly to his son and
said, “The ministers have decided otherwise; they
advise surrender. You are the only one who thinks
that boldness may avail, and would you drench the
city in blood?”
The Prince said, “While the First Ruler lived, this
Qiao Zhou had no voice in state affairs. Now he
gives this wild advice and talks the most subversive
language. There is no reason at all in what he says,
for we have
in the city many legions of soldiers, and Jiang Wei
is undefeated in Saber Pass. He will come to our
rescue as soon as he knows our straits, and we can
help him to fight. We shall surely succeed. Why
listen to the words of this dryasdust? Why abandon
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thus lightly the work of our great forerunner?”
The Latter Ruler became angry at this harangue
and turned to his son, saying, “Be silent! You are too
young to understand.”
Liu Chan beat his head upon the ground and
implored his father to make an effort.
“If we have done our best and defeat yet comes,
if father and son, prince and minister have set their
backs to the wall and died in one final effort to
preserve the dynasty, then in the shades of the Nine
Golden Springs we shall be able to look the First
Ruler in the face, unashamed. But what if we
surrender?”
The appeal left the Latter Ruler unmoved.
The Prince cried, “Is it not shameful in one day to
throw down all that our ancestors built up with so
great labor? I would rather die.”
The Latter Ruler, now very angry, bade the
courtiers thrust the young man out of the Palace.
Then he ordered Qiao Zhou to prepare the formal
Act of Surrender. When it was written, three
officers—Adviser Zhang Shao, Imperial Son−in−Law
Deng Liang, and High Minister Qiao Zhou—were
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sent with it and the Hereditary Seal to the camp of
Deng Ai to offer submission.
Every day Deng Ai’s horsemen rode to the city to
see what was afoot. It was a glad day when they
returned reporting the hoisting of the flag of
surrender. The general had not long to wait. The
three messengers soon arrived and presented the
letter announcing surrender and the seal therewith.
Deng Ai read the letter with great exultation, and
took possession of the seal. He treated the envoys
courteously, and by their hands sent back a letter to
allay any anxiety among the people. In due time they
reentered the city and bore this missive to the Latter
Ruler, who read it with much satisfaction. Then he
sent Minister Jiang Xian to order Jiang Wei to
surrender.
Li Hu, Chair of the Secretariat, carried to the
victorious Deng Ai the statistical documents of the
resources of the kingdom: 2,800,000 households,
9,140,000 souls, 102,000 armed soldiers of all ranks,
and 40,000 civil employees. Besides, there were
granaries with 4,000,000 carts of grain, treasuries
with 3,000 pounds of gold and silver and 200,000
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rolls of silks of many qualities, and many
unenumerated but precious things in the various
storehouses. Li Hu arranged that the ceremony of
surrender should take place on the first day of the
twelfth month.
The wrath of Prince Liu Chan swelled high as
heaven when he heard that his father had actually
arranged the date of his abdication. Girding on his
sword, he was setting out for the Palace when his
Consort, Lady Cui, stopped him, saying, “My Prince,
why does your face bear this look of terrible anger?”
He replied, “The army of Wei is at the gates, and
my father has made his Act of Surrender. Tomorrow
he and all his ministers are going out of the city to
submit formally, and the dynasty will end. But rather
than bow the knee to another, I will die and go into
the presence of the First Ruler in the realms below.”
“How worthy; how worthy!” replied she. “And if my
lord must die, I, thy handmaid, prays that she may
die first. Then may my Prince depart.”
“But why should you die?”
“The Prince dies for his father and the handmaid
for her husband. One eternal principle guides us all.”
Three Kingdoms Romance
Thereupon she dashed herself against a pillar,
and so she died. Then Liu Chan slew his three sons
and cut off the head of his Consort that he might
sever all ties to life lest he be tempted to live.
Bearing the head of the princess in his hand, he
went to the Temple of the First Ruler, where he
bowed his head, saying, “Thy servant is ashamed at
seeing the kingdom pass to another. Therefore has
he slain his Consort and his sons that nothing should
induce him to live and forego death.”
This announcement recited, he made yet another
to his ancestors.
“My ancestors, if you have spiritual intelligence,
yon know the feelings of your descendant.”
Then he wept sore till his eyes ran blood, and he
committed suicide. The people of Shu grieved deeply
for him, and a poet has praised his noble deed.
Both king and courtiers, willing, bowed the knee,
One son alone was grieved and would not live.
The western kingdom fell to rise no more,
A noble prince stood forth, for aye renowned
As one who died to save his forbears’ shame.
Three Kingdoms Romance
With grievous mien and falling tears he bowed
His head, declaring his intent to die.
While such a memory lingers none may say
That Han has perished.
When the Latter Ruler knew of the death of his
son, he sent people to bury him.
Soon the main body of the Wei army came. The
Latter Ruler and all his courtiers to the number of
sixty went out three miles from the north gate to bow
their heads in submission, the Latter Ruler binding
himself with cord and taking a coffin with him. But
Deng Ai with his own hands loosened the bonds
raised the Latter Ruler from the ground. The coffin
was burned. Then the victorious leader and the
vanquished Emperor returned into the city side by
side.
Wei’s legions entered Shu,
And the ruler thereof saved his life
At the price of his honor and his throne.
Huang Hao’s vicious counsels had brought
disaster
Three Kingdoms Romance
Against which Jiang Wei’s efforts were vain.
How bright shone the loyalty of the faithful one!
How noble was the fortitude of the prince,
grandson of the First Ruler!
Alas! It led him into the way of sorrow.
And the plans of the First Ruler,
Excellent and far−reaching.
Whereby he laid the foundations of a mighty
state,
Were brought to nought in one day.
The common people rejoiced at the magnanimity
of Deng Ai, and met the returning cavalcade with
burning incense and flowers. The title of General of
the Flying Cavalry was given to the Latter Ruler and
other ranks were given to the ministers who had
surrendered.
Deng Ai requested the Latter Ruler to issue one
more proclamation from the Palace to reassure the
people, and then the conquerors took formal
possession of the state and its granaries and
storehouses. Two officers—Governor of Yiazhou
Zhang Shao and Minister Zhang Jun—were sent into
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the counties and territories to explain the new
situation and pacify malcontents, and another
messenger was sent to exhort Jiang
Wei to yield peaceably. A report of the success
was sent to Luoyang.
Huang Hao, the eunuch whose evil counsels had
wrought such ruin to his master, was looked upon as
a danger, and Deng Ai decided to put him to death.
However, Huang Hao was rich, and by means of
bribes he escaped the death penalty.
Thus perished the House of Han. Reflecting on its
end a poet recalled the exploits of Zhuge Liang the
Martial Lord, and he wrote a poem.
The denizens of tree−tops, apes and birds,
Most lawless of crested things, yet knew
And feared his mordant pen. The clouds and
winds
Conspired to aid him to defend his lord.
But nought awaited the leader’s precepts, wise
To save; with base content the erstwhile king
Too soon surrendered, yielding all but life.
In gifts Zhuge Liang was peer with
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Guan Zhong and Yue Yi,
His hapless death compared with
Zhang Fei’s and Guan Yu’s;
Sad sight, his temple on the river’s brink!
It wrings the heart more than the tearful verse
Of the Liangfu songs he most loved.
In due time Jiang Xian reached the Saber Pass,
and gave Jiang Wei the Latter Ruler’s command to
surrender to the invaders. Jiang Wei was dumb with
amazement at the order; his officers ground their
teeth with rage and mortification. Their hair stood on
end with anger; they drew their swords and slashed
at stones in their wrath, shouting, “While we are
fighting to our death, the Latter Ruler has yielded!”
The roar of their angry lamentation was heard for
miles. But Jiang Wei soothed them with kindly words,
saying, “Generals, grieve not; even yet I can restore
the House of Han.”
“How?” cried they.
And he whispered low in their ears.
The flag of surrender fluttered over the ramparts
of Saber Pass, and a messenger went to Zhong
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Hui’s camp. When Jiang Wei and his generals drew
near, Zhong Hui went out to meet them.
“Why have you been so long in coming?” said
Zhong Hui.
Jiang Wei looked him straight in the face and
said, without a tremor, but through falling tears, “The
whole armies of the state are under me, and I am
here far too soon.”
Zhong Hui wondered about this firm remark, and
said nothing more. The two saluted each other and
took their seats, Jiang Wei being placed in the seat
of honor.
Jiang Wei said, “I hear that every detail of your
plans, from the time you left the South of River Huai
till now, has been accomplished. The good fortune of
the Sima family is owing to you, and so I am the
more content to bow my head and yield to you. Had
it been Deng Ai, I should have fought to the death,
for I would not have surrendered to him.”
Then Zhong Hui broke an arrow in twain, and
they two swore close brotherhood. Their friendship
became close−knit. Jiang Wei was continued in
command of his own army, at which he secretly
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rejoiced. And Jiang Xian went back to Chengdu.
As conqueror, Deng Ai arranged for the
administration of the newly−gained territory. He
made Shi Zuan Imperial Protector of Yiazhou and
appointed Qian Hong, Yang Xin, and many others to
various posts. He also built a tower in Mianzhu in
commemoration of his conquest.
At a great banquet, where most of the guests
were people of the newly−conquered land, Deng Ai
drank too freely and in his cups became garrulous.
With a patronizing wave of his hand, he said to
his guests, “You are lucky in that you have had to do
with me. Things might well have been otherwise, and
you might all have been put to death, if you
surrender to other leader.”
The guests rose in a body and expressed their
gratitude. Just at that moment Jiang Xian arrived
from his visit to Jiang Wei to say that Jiang Wei and
his army had surrendered to Zhong Hui. Deng Ai
thereupon conceived a great hatred for Zhong Hui,
and soon after he wrote to Luoyang a letter
something like this:
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“I would venture to remark that misleading rumors
of war should precede actual attack. Now that Shu
has been
overcome, the manifest next move is against Wu,
and in present circumstances victory would easily
follow an attack. But after a great effort, both leaders
and led are weary and unfit for immediate service.
Therefore of this army twenty thousand Wei troops
should be left west of Longyou, and with them twenty
thousand Shu troops, to be employed in boiling salt
so as to improve the finances. Moreover, ships
should be built ready for an expedition down the
river. When these preparations shall be complete,
then send an envoy into Wu to lay before its rulers
the truth about its position. It is possible that matters
may be settled without any fighting.
“Further, generous treatment of Liu Shan will tend
to weaken Sun Xiu; but if Liu Shan be removed to
Luoyang, the people of Wu will be perplexed and
doubtful about what may happen to them, and they
will not be amenable. Therefore it seems the most
fitting to leave the late Ruler of Shu here. Next year,
Three Kingdoms Romance
in the winter season, he might be removed to the
capital. For the present I would recommend that he
be created Prince of Fufeng, and granted a sufficient
revenue and suitable attendants. His sons also
should receive ducal rank. In this way would be
demonstrated that favorable treatment follows upon
submission. Such a course would inspire fear of the
might of Wei and respect for its virtue, and the result
will be all that could be desired.”
Reading this memorial, the thought entered the
mind of Sima Zhao that Deng Ai was exaggerating
his own importance, wherefore he first wrote a
private letter and sent it by the hand of Wei Guan to
Deng Ai and then caused the Ruler of Wei to issue
an edict promoting Deng Ai. The edict ran thus:
“General Deng Ai has performed a glorious
exploit, penetrating deeply into a hostile country and
reducing to
submission a usurping potentate. This task has
been quickly performed; the clouds of war have
already rolled away and peace reigns throughout Ba
and Shu.
Three Kingdoms Romance
“The merits of Deng Ai surpass those of Bai Qi,
who subdued the mighty state of Chu, and Han Xin,
who conquered the state of Zhao. Deng Ai is created
Grand Commander, and we confer upon him a fief of
twenty thousand homesteads, and his two sons are
ennobled, each with a fief of one thousand
homesteads.”
After the edict had been received with full
ceremonies, Wei Guan produced the private letter,
which said that Deng Ai’s proposals would have
suitable consideration in due time.
Then said Deng Ai, “A general in the field may
decline to obey even the orders of his prince. My
commission was to conquer the west; why are my
plans hindered?”
So he wrote a reply and sent it to the capital by
the hand of the envoy. At that time it was common
talk at court that Deng Ai intended to rebel; and
when Sima Zhao read the letter, his suspicions
turned to certainty, and he feared. This was the
letter:
“Deng Ai, General Who Conquers the West, has
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reduced the chief of the revolt to submission, and
must have
authority to act according as he sees best in order
to settle the early stages of administration of the new
territory. To await government orders for every step
means long delays. According to the Spring and
Autumn Annals a high officer, when abroad, has
authority to follow his own judgment for the safety of
the Throne and the advantage of the state.
“Now seeing that Wu is still unsubdued, all
interest centers upon this country, and schemes of
settlement should not be nullified by strict adherence
to rules and formalities. In war advances are made
without thought of reputation, retreats without
consideration of avoiding punishment. Though I do
not possess the fortitude of the ancients, I shall not
be deterred from acting for the benefit of the state by
craven and selfish fears for my own reputation.”
In his perplexity Sima Zhao turned to Jia Chong
for advice.
Said he, “Deng Ai presumes upon his services to
be haughty and imperious; his recalcitrance is very
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evident. What shall I do?”
“Why not order Zhong Hui to reduce him to
obedience?” replied Jia Chong.
Sima Zhao accepted the suggestion and issued
an edict raising Zhong Hui to Minister of the Interior.
After this the Inspector of the Forces, Wei Guan, was
set over both armies, with special orders to keep a
watch upon Deng Ai and guard against any attempt
at insubordination.
The edict sent to Zhong Hui ran as follows:
“Zhong Hui, General Who Conquers the West,
against whose might none can stand, before whom
no one is strong,
whose virtue conquers every city, whose wide net
no one escapes, to whom the valiant army of Shu
humbly submitted, whose plans never fail, whose
every undertaking succeeds, is hereby made
Minister of the Interior and raised to the rank of
lordship of a fief of ten thousand families. His two
sons also have similar rank with a fief of one
thousand families.”
Three Kingdoms Romance
When this edict reached Zhong Hui, he called in
Jiang Wei and said to him, “Deng Ai has been
rewarded more richly than I and is a Grand
Commander. But Sima Zhao suspects him of
rebellion and has ordered Wei Guan and myself to
keep him in order. What does my friend Jiang Wei
think ought to be done?”
Jiang Wei replied, “They say Deng Ai’s origin was
ignoble and in his youth he was a farmer and
breeder of cattle. However, he had good luck and
has won a great reputation in this expedition. But this
is due not to his able plans, but to the good fortune
of the state. If you had not been compelled to hold
me in check at Saber Pass, he could not have
succeeded. Now he wishes the late Ruler of Shu to
be created Prince of Fufeng, whereby he hopes to
win the goodwill of the people of Shu. But to me it
seems that perfidy lies therein. The Duke of Jin
suspects him, it is evident.”
Zhong Hui complimented him. Jiang Wei
continued, “If you will send away your people, I have
something to say to you in private.”
When this had been done and they two were
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alone, Jiang Wei drew a map from his sleeve and
spread it before Zhong Hui, saying, “Long ago,
before he had left his humble cot. Zhuge Liang gave
this to the First Ruler and told him of the riches of
Yiazhou and how well it was fitted for an
independent state. Whereupon Chengdu was seized
as a first step towards attaining it. Now that Deng Ai
has got to the same point, it is small
wonder that he has lost his balance.”
Zhong Hui asked many questions about the
details of the features of the map, and Jiang Wei
explained in full. Toward the end, he asked how
Deng Ai could be got rid of.
“By making use of the Duke of Jin’s suspicions,”
replied Jiang Wei. “Send up a memorial to say that it
looks as if Deng Ai really contemplated rebellion.
You will receive direct orders to check the revolt.”
So a memorial was sent to Luoyang. It said that
Deng Ai aimed at independence, nourished base
designs, was making friends with the vanquished,
and was about to revolt.
At this news the court was much disturbed. Then
to support his charges, Zhong Hui’s soldiers
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intercepted Deng Ai’s letters and rewrote them in
arrogant and rebellious terms. Sima Zhao was
greatly angered and sent Jia Chong to lead an
expedition into the Xie Valley, he ordered Zhong Hui
to arrest Deng Ai, and he himself directing a great
march under the leadership of the Ruler of Wei, Cao
Huang, whom he compelled to go with him.
Then said Shao Ti, “Zhong Hui’s army
outnumbers that of Deng Ai by six to one. You need
not go; you need only order Zhong Hui to arrest
Deng Ai.”
“Have you forgotten?” said Sima Zhao, smiling.
“You said Zhong Hui was a danger; I am not really
going against Deng Ai, but against the other.”
“I feared lest you had forgotten,” said Shao Ti. “I
ventured to remind you, but the matter must be kept
secret.”
The expedition set out.
By this time Zhong Hui’s attitude had aroused Jia
Chong’s suspicions, and he spoke of it to Sima Zhao,
who replied, “Had I sent you, I should have felt
doubts, too. However, come to Changan and you will
understand.”
Three Kingdoms Romance
The dispatch of the army under Sima Zhao was
reported to Zhong Hui, who wondered what it might
mean. He at once called in Jiang Wei to consult
about the seizure of Deng Ai.
Lo! He is victor here, a king must yield;
And there a threatening army takes the field.
The next chapter will relate the plan to arrest
Deng Ai.
Three Kingdoms Romance

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